Michelle Buras' Blog
If a home is in foreclosure, you can buy it for less. Great deal, right? It can be, but there are pitfalls, and you need even more caution than in a regular real estate transaction.
Stages of Foreclosure
Foreclosure can take months or even years depending on the regulations of the specific state, but the stages are the same:
Pre-foreclosure. The owner has been given notice of pending foreclosure but for now still owns the home. In this case you negotiate with the owner.
Bank-owner. The former owner has been evicted. If the bank doesn’t find a buyer the house will be put up for auction.
Real-estate Owned (REO). The home did not sell at auction. A misleading name because the bank still owns it. And needs to get rid of it.
How do I find a Foreclosure?
If you haven't bought one before, your best bet is to work with a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures. Some may have credentials: the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) or the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designation. Foreclosures are listed on the same platforms as other homes, plus they may be found through banks, local city halls and courts.
Do I need cash?
Not necessarily. But if you'll use a mortgage, get it pre-approved. You’re likely to be competing with cash buyers.
What should I watch out for?
Many foreclosed properties are in poor shape. If they haven’t been inhabited, and maintenance has been neglected and air conditioning hasn’t been running, there could be mold, debris and internal damage. Distraught homeowners sometimes make off with appliances and the copper. There may be liens in addition to the defaulted mortgage. Get an inspection, have the title checked out and assume there’s going to be work to make it livable.
How much should I pay?
Your agent can run a comparative market analysis (CMA). You should pay significantly less than for an unencumbered property to make up for the risk. Professional foreclosure buyers sometimes use a formula of 80 percent of a comparable standard property less cost of known repairs. For example, a $300,000 house that needs $50,000 in repairs should be (80% * $300,000) – $50,000 or $190,000. A skilled agent can help you be competitive without putting yourself in a bind.
Is a foreclosed property right for me?
It will take more time and effort than a regular purchase but can save a pile of money. A DIYer or a person comfortable managing major rehab projects has a head start. If you have strong nerves, high risk tolerance and the ability to be flexible, a foreclosure might be the best deal you can make.
Diffusing aromas in your home is a great way to settle in, relax and enjoy a fresh, clean scent that calms the nerves.
How Do We Know Aromatherapy Works?
Research gives us the scoop. Take lavender, for example. Research shows lavender:
- Eases nervousness much better than a placebo.
- Raises people's scientifically measured mood scores and lowers distress, when accompanied in aromatherapy by rosemary and tea tree oils.
- Eases restlessness, poor sleep, and other sleep problems.
- Enhances "general well-being and quality of life."
When it comes down to the science, aromatherapy passes the smell test.
You aren't limited to lavender. Many plants and their oils create a mood-enhancing home environment.
Pick up some eucalyptus branches and enjoy their stimulating scents in your bathroom or home office.
Or mix and match, creating your signature scent, with a blend of essential oils:
- For a natural energy boost, diffuse peppermint and rosemary essential oils, accompanied by a citrus element, like bergamot orange.
- For a gentle uplift, diffuse lavender with lemongrass.
Experiment and enjoy the process.
Tea Leaves, Revisited
If you happen to enjoy tea, you have a ready-made way to subtly scent your home year-round.
Did you know tea aromatherapy is a thing in Japan? Japanese tea leaf warmers are called chakouro. The idea is to ease stress and sharpen mental focus, while creating an ahhh home environment.
Aromatherapy oil warmers work just fine for putting tea leaves instead of the oil in the shallow saucer on top of the warmer. As they warm and their scent is diffused, your leaves will gently roast. After many hours, this creates a remainder of rich, brewable leaves, called hojicha in Japan.
Tea itself is aromatherapeutic. Green tea, jasmine, or sencha are all delightful. Sencha tea, with its rich, yellow hue, is gaining many western adherents, with good reason. Enjoy it hot or iced, garnished with a lemon wedge and a fresh sprig of mint. The scent is deeply satisfying.
Experiment with fragrance. Enjoy the adventure. And come home to a sanctuary every day.
39 Sylvester St, Brockton, MA 02302
39 Sylvester St, Brockton, MA 02302